THE OPTIMIST CREED
Jim Bob and Butch were day workers at the Rafter C
To make ends meet, they had jobs in town.
One day over coffee, Jim Bob says to Butch,
“Butch, why’re you feeling so down?”
“Well”, says Butch, “it shore pains me to say,
but my wife pointed out how pessimistic I’ve got.
Where I used to be up and pleasant to be around,
I’m down in the mouth and it’s botherin’ me a lot.”
Not knowing what’s got his damper down,
Jim Bob decides he’ll try to help his old friend.
Says, “tell you what, buddy, maybe I can help;
there’s a group in town that might put you on the mend.”
“How so,” asks Butch. “What magic do they have?”
J. B. says, “Well, I bet they’ve got just what you need.
See, they talk about promises to make to yourself;
I’ve seen it. I think they call it their Creed.”
“I don’t know all of it, but it starts like this:
(By the way, your strength comes to mind)
You ought’a be strong enough, there ain’t nothin’
Can foul up yore peace of mind.”
Seems pretty simple, easy enough to say,
But, the next you’ll find easier and hard to beat:
You ought’a talk health, bein’ happy and prosperous
To ever’body you know or who you meet.
Now, I’m missing’ some of ‘em, I know,
But here’s one that I think is a sure ‘nuff gem:
Whether they’re friend or somebody you just met,
Make ‘em feel there’s something’ special in them.
This next ‘un sure ‘nuff hits me in a soft spot,
‘cause it’s been true of every straw boss I’ve known:
They’ve always been ‘bout as enthusiastic of my success
As they were or ever had been of their own.
Here’s one I have trouble with and I shouldn’t,
But, it’s one I’ve worked on quite a while:
Tryin’ to be cheerful with others all the time
And give ever’body and ever’thing a great big smile.
Like I said, I don’t rightly remember ‘em all,
But, there’s two that are sure important, brother:
First, you ought’a work so hard to make yoreself better
That you ain’t got time to make fun and criticize others.
Finally, this last one is good, I don’t care who you are
And it’s so important they ought’a say it double:
We should be too big to worry, too decent to get mad,
Too strong to fear, and too happy to let in trouble.
“Wow”, says Butch. “Them folks sure are optimistic.
I purely don’t know if I could ever get where they’re at.
I guess tryin’ would be better’n not tryin’
And I’m willing’ to try it if you’re up to that.”
“I reckon as how I’m willing’ to try”, says Jim Bob.
“Sounds to me like they’ve got a plan hard to beat.
Tell you what, next time we’re in town
Let’s find out when and where them Optimists meet.”
- John Pelham, Cowboy Poet, Granbury TX